Huskers Close Non-Conference Play with Cougars
• The Nebraska women’s basketball team closes non-conference play when the Huskers take on Washington State on Friday afternoon at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Tip-off between the Huskers and Cougars is set for 1 p.m., with tickets available now at Huskers.com.
• A live radio broadcast will be produced by the Husker Sports Network, with Matt Coatney and Jeff Griesch teaming up for their 17th season together on the call. The game will be carried live for free on Huskers.com and over the air on B107.3 FM in Lincoln and ESPN 590 AM in Omaha. Free audio also can be found on the Huskers App and the TuneIn App.
• A live video stream will be available from BTN Plus with the Husker Sports Network radio call accompanying the HuskerVision in-arena video.
• Friday’s game is part of a day/night basketball double-header at Pinnacle Bank Arena, with the Husker men taking on Delaware State at 7 p.m.
• Nebraska will shoot for its sixth straight win to close non-conference play, after surging to an 86-69 win over Florida Atlantic in Lincoln on Tuesday night.
• Freshman center Kate Cain provided a history-making performance with career highs of 22 points, 14 rebounds and a school-record 11 blocked shots to lead the Huskers. Cain, a three-time Big Ten Freshman of the Week, produced just the third triple-double in school history and the first with blocked shots.
• Cain’s 11 blocks smashed the previous school record of nine set by former WNBA player, current European professional and Olympic bronze medalist Danielle Page against Baylor on Feb. 3, 2007.
• As a team, Nebraska notched a school-record 13 blocks, eclipsing the previous team mark of 10 blocks, which occurred five times. The last time came against Albany on Dec. 30, 2009.
• Cain, who leads the Big Ten and ranks No. 3 nationally with 47 blocks, needs just seven blocks to tie Nebraska’s freshman record of 54 blocks set by NU career leader Janet Smith over 34 games in 1978-79.
• Nebraska has won five straight games by an average of 17.2 points per contest (79.0-61.8).
• The Huskers have outrebounded the opposition by plus-9.4 boards per game the last five games.
• Four Huskers, including Hannah Whitish (18.4 ppg), Kate Cain (14.4 ppg), Maddie Simon (13.2 ppg), and Nicea Eliely (10.2 ppg) have averaged double figures over the past five games.
• Nebraska owns a plus-4.6 turnover margin over the last five contests.
Nebraska Cornhuskers (9-3, 0-0 Big Ten)
24 – Maddie Simon – 6-2 – Jr. – F – 10.8 ppg, 6.4 rpg
31 – Kate Cain – 6-5 – Fr. – C – 11.8 ppg, 8.0 rpg
3 – Hannah Whitish – 5-9 – So. – G – 12.7 ppg, 4.7 rpg
5 – Nicea Eliely – 6-1 – So. – G – 8.4 ppg, 4.9 rpg
34 – Jasmine Cincore – 5-10 – Sr. – F – 7.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg
Off the Bench
33 – Taylor Kissinger – 6-1 – Fr. – G – 14.0 ppg, 4.7 rpg
12 – Emily Wood – 5-5 – Sr. – G – 5.8 ppg, 2.7 rpg
15 – Bria Stallworth – 5-6 – So. – G – 4.9 ppg, 2.3 rpg
14 – Grace Mitchell – 6-2 – So. – F – 3.5 ppg, 2.9 rpg
13 – Janay Morton – 5-10 – Sr. – G – 2.8 ppg, 1.3 rpg
43 – Rachel Blackburn – 6-3 – So. – F – 1.7 ppg, 2.5 rpg
50 – Darrien Washington – 6-2 – Jr. – F – 1.7 ppg, 2.0 rpg
Head Coach: Amy Williams (Nebraska, 1998)
Second Season at Nebraska (16-25)
11th Season Overall (209-134)
Washington State Cougars (6-5, 0-0 Pac-12)
4 – Louise Brown – 6-3 – Jr. – F – 8.3 ppg, 7.2 rpg
45 – Borislava Hristova – 6-0 – So. – F – 17.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg
20 – Maria Kostourkova – 6-4 – Jr. – C – 5.7 ppg, 5.3 rpg
1 – Caila Hailey – 5-10 – Sr. – G – 4.9 ppg, 2.5 rpg
22 – Pinelopi Pavlopoulou – 5-8 – Sr. – G – 6.6 ppg, 1.5 rpg
Off the Bench
23 – Alexys Swedlund – 5-11 – Jr. – G – 9.7 ppg, 2.6 rpg
11 – Chanelle Molina – 5-9 – So. – G – 5.4 ppg, 1.8 rpg
5 – Kayla Washington – 6-0 – So. – F – 5.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg
21 – Nike McClure – 6-3 – Jr. – C – 4.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg
41 – Jovana Subasic – 6-4 – RFr. – G – 1.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg
10 – Johanna Muzet – 6-0 – So. – G – 0.6 ppg, 0.7 rpg
Head Coach: June Daugherty (Ohio State, 1978)
11th Season at Washington State (126-203)
29th Season Overall (439-416)
Scouting the Washington State Cougars
• Coach June Daugherty brings Washington State to Pinnacle Bank Arena for the second time.
• The Cougars carry a 6-5 record with them to Lincoln after battling to a 61-53 win at Boise State on Monday night. The win over the Broncos marked WSU’s first game in 12 days.
• The victory was also Washington State’s fifth win in its last six games. The Cougars produced a four-game winning streak that included a 63-60 victory over Rutgers (Nov. 26), along with wins over East Tennessee State, Idaho State and Saint Louis before falling to Gonzaga (Dec. 6).
• Borislava Hristova, a 6-0 forward, leads a multi-national Cougar club. The third-year sophomore from Varna, Bulgaria, is averaging 17.0 points and 5.2 rebounds per game.
• She is joined in the starting lineup by 6-3 Australian Louise Brown. The fourth-year junior forward from Melbourne is averaging 8.3 points and 7.2 rebounds, while ranking second on the team with 16 threes on a team-best 42.1 percent shooting. Brown is also a perfect 17-for-17 on free throws.
• Maria Kostourkova, a 6-4 junior center from Lisbon, Portugal, give the Cougars a traditional center. She is averaging 5.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game.
• Senior Pinelopi Pavlopoulou, a 5-8 guard from Athens, Greece, has been a key ingredient to Washington State’s winning ways over the last six games. Pavlopoulou is averaging 6.6 points and a team-best 2.3 assists per game.
• The lone American in WSU’s starting five is senior Caila Hailey. The 5-10 guard from Inglewood, Calif., is averaging 4.9 points and 2.5 rebounds along with a team-best 1.9 steals per contest.
• South Dakotan Alexys Swedlund is WSU’s No. 2 scorer, averaging 9.7 points per game. The 5-11 sharp-shooter from Rapid City leads the Cougars with 20 three-pointers on the year.
• Chanelle Molina (Kailua Kona, Hawaii) made five starts early in the season at point guard and has averaged 5.4 points per game. She has a negative assist-to-turnover ratio (23-27) and has shot just 23.1 percent from three-point range.
• Kayla Washington (5.3 ppg, 4.5 rpg), Nike McClure (4.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg) and Johanna Muzet (0.6 ppg, 0.7 rpg) are also part of Washington State’s regular 10-player rotation.
Nebraska vs. Washington State Series History
• The last time the Cougars came to Lincoln they handed Nebraska its first-ever loss (76-72) inside the new Pinnacle Bank Arena on Nov. 30, 2013. It was one of only two losses the Huskers suffered inside the arena during their inaugural season (14-2), with the other coming in a 77-75 loss to Purdue.
• WSU has been one of Nebraska’s most frequent non-conference foes. Today’s game will mark the sixth meeting between the two schools in women’s basketball since the 2009-10 campaign (9 seasons).
• Nebraska owns a 5-2 edge in the all-time series, but Washington State posted a 79-65 win over the Huskers at the South Point Shootout in Las Vegas in the last meeting between the two teams on Nov. 25, 2016. That game marked the only neutral site meeting in the history of the series.
• The Huskers are 2-1 against the Cougars in Lincoln, including a 107-54 win on Nov. 22, 2009. That Nebraska team went 32-2 overall, won the Big 12 regular-season title with a perfect 16-0 record and earned a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
• Nebraska also defeated Washington State 78-61 at the Devaney Center on Nov. 22, 2004.
• The Huskers are 3-0 all-time at Washington State, including an 82-61 win on Nov. 19, 2014, when Nebraska traveled to and from Pullman from Lincoln on the day of the game because of travel complications. NU also posted an 87-79 win over the Cougars in Pullman on Nov. 22, 2010, and a 64-56 victory at Beasley Coliseum in the first-ever meeting between the two teams on Dec. 4, 2003.
• A win for Nebraska against Washington State would be the Huskers’ 10th win of the season, giving the Big Red three more than the seven victories they totaled all of last season.
• A victory over WSU also would give Nebraska a six-game non-conference winning streak for the first time since opening the 2014-15 season with a 7-0 record.
• Hannah Whitish captured her first career Big Ten Player-of-the-Week award (Dec. 11) after averaging 29.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.5 steals per game to lead Nebraska to road wins over Kansas and Drake.
• Whitish scored 25 of her career-high 29 points in the second half of the win at Kansas (Dec. 6). She personally outscored KU 25-13 in the half, giving her the largest individual margin over an entire team in a Division I half this season.
• Whitish is averaging 18.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 1.8 steals during Nebraska’s five-game winning streak. She has dished out 33 assists while committing just eight turnovers in the stretch.
• Center Kate Cain has claimed three Big Ten Freshman-of-the-Week awards through six weeks this season. Cain leads the Huskers and the Big Ten with 47 blocked shots through 12 games.
• Cain’s 3.9 blocks per game and 47 total blocks ranked No. 3 nationally through games Dec. 19. The last time the Huskers had a player average 1.0 block per game in a season was Catheryn Redmon in 2010-11.
• Cain is averaging 14.4 points, 11.4 rebounds and 5.0 blocks while shooting 63.5 percent from the field during Nebraska’s five-game winning streak.
• Nebraska is 8-0 with Maddie Simon on the court, including 7-0 when she starts. Simon is averaging 13.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.2 steals while shooting 51.9 percent from the floor during NU’s current five-game winning streak.
Whitish Starting to Shine as Sophomore
• Nebraska’s growth in the backcourt this season starts with sophomore Hannah Whitish. The 5-9 guard from Barneveld, Wis., is the Big Red’s top returning scorer after averaging 9.0 points per game a year ago. Whitish, who started every Big Ten game for Nebraska, averaged 11.1 points in conference play, while shooting a sizzling 41.8 percent (38-91) from three-point range. She was also Nebraska’s top playmaker, averaging 3.7 assists in Big Ten action.
• Whitish’s play blossomed throughout the season, as she produced double figures in each of Nebraska’s last four games including a season-high 24-point performance in an overtime upset of NCAA Tournament-bound Michigan State on Feb. 26, 2017. Whitish knocked down 5-of-8 three-pointers against the Spartans while adding five rebounds and five assists in 44 minutes of work.
• The Big Ten Player of the Week (Dec. 11), Whitish averaged 29.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.5 steals to lead Nebraska to a pair of road wins at Kansas (Dec. 6) and Drake (Dec. 9).
• She erupted for a career-high 29 points, including 25 in the second half, to carry Nebraska offensively in a road win at Kansas (Dec. 6). Whitish outscored the previously unbeaten Jayhawks 25-13 after halftime to help the Huskers rally from a 13-point late-second-quarter deficit to a 17-point victory.
• Whitish matched her career high with 29 points in the next game at Drake (Dec. 9) to lead Nebraska to an 89-85 double-overtime victory. She added six rebounds, six assists, two steals and her first block of the season against the Bulldogs.
• During Nebraska’s current five-game winning streak, Whitish is averaging 18.4 points, 5.6 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 1.8 steals in 32.8 minutes per game. She is shooting 43.5 percent (27-62) from the field, 36.6 percent (15-41) from three-point range and 88.5 percent (23-26) at the free throw line.
• She is coming off an outstanding game with 17 points, five rebounds, eight assists and a steal in a win over Florida Atlantic (Dec. 19).
• Whitish managed eight points, six rebounds and seven assists in a win at San Jose State (Dec. 17). • In 2017-18, Whitish is the only Husker to start all 12 games, while averaging 12.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, a team-high 5.4 assists along with 1.4 steals per game.
• She tied her career high with three steals in three straight games (Clemson, UAPB, Kansas).
• Whitish owns 65 assists and 23 turnovers for a 2.8-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio, which ranks in the top 30 nationally among all Division I players.
• Whitish tied her career high with five three-pointers at Drake (Dec. 9).
• She scored 15 points on three threes against Buffalo (Nov. 23).
• Whitish scored 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting against Creighton (Nov. 19).
• She tied a career high with nine assists while adding eight points and five rebounds in a win over UMKC (Nov. 14).
• Whitish owns a team-best 18 career double-figure scoring efforts, including five this season. She has produced a trio of 20-point performances in her career, including two this season.
Eliely Playing Well Since Return from Injury
• Sophomore Nicea Eliely joins Hannah Whitish as a returning starter in the backcourt. Eliely, a 6-1 wing from Colorado Springs, Colo., started all 29 games for the Huskers as a true freshman, averaging 7.7 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.4 assists and a team-leading 1.6 steals per game.
• Eliely was Nebraska’s top defender throughout her freshman season, and with a year of experience under her belt, the Huskers expect to see even better defensive play from the long, athletic wing.
• She added strength during the offseason and also improved her skill level at the offensive end to give herself more options in not only scoring but also creating opportunities for her teammates.
• However, Eliely suffered a foot/ankle injury in mid-October that sidelined her late in preseason. She has made a full recovery after missing the first three games this season and being limited in her first three games back
• Eliely has played in nine consecutive games, including six straight starts.
• As a starter, Eliely is averaging 10.0 points, 4.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 1.3 steals. She is shooting 46 percent (23-50) from the field and 46.2 percent (6-13) from three-point range as a starter. She has hit a three-pointer in each of her six starts.
• For the season, Eliely is averaging 8.4 points, 4.9 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.3 steals.
• Eliely is coming off her 11th career double-figure scoring effort and third in the last five games with 10 points, a career-high-matching nine rebounds, three assists and a block in a win over Florida Atlantic (Dec. 19).
• It followed 13 points, five rebounds, a block and two steals in a win at San Jose State (Dec. 17).
• Eliely started Nebraska’s current five-game winning streak with 13 points against Arkansas Pine Bluff (Dec. 2).
• She played a strong all-around game in a win at Drake (Dec. 9), producing eight points, four rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks. Eliely would have finished in double figures with 10 points, but her game-winner at the buzzer was wiped off after an official review of a tipped inbounds pass. Eliely’s shot from the middle of the lane was good well before time expired. • Eliely managed seven points and three assists in a win at Kansas (Dec. 6).
• She had nine points, three rebounds, an assist and a steal against Clemson (Nov. 30).
• She saw her first action this season against Creighton (Nov. 19), contributing four points, five rebounds, a career-high three blocks and a steal in 15 minutes. She completed a full practice on Nov. 18 and the pregame shoot-around Nov. 19, after missing four weeks of court time.
Simon Running Full Speed to Forward
• With depth and experience creating a positive for the Nebraska backcourt, Maddie Simon has changed her focus to the power forward position.
• The 6-2 junior out of Lincoln Pius X High School has been a significant contributor in the Nebraska backcourt the past two seasons, including a starting role down the stretch in the regular season as a freshman in 2015-16.
• Through two seasons, she averaged 4.5 points and 1.9 rebounds in 13.3 minutes per game. She made five starts for the Huskers as a freshman, before coming off the bench in all 29 games a year ago.
• With the loss of Nebraska’s starting frontcourt, and inexperience and injuries challenging the inside game, Simon has run into a more prominent role.
• Through eight games with seven starts at power forward, Simon is averaging 10.8 points and 6.4 rebounds. She has added 1.9 assists and 1.0 steal per game. The Huskers are 8-0 in games that Simon has played this season.
• Simon has produced double figures four times in Nebraska’s current five-game winning streak and is averaging 13.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.2 steals over the last five games.
• Over the last three games, Simon is averaging 16.7 points and shooting 57.9 percent from the field including 42.9 percent from three-point range.
• Simon scored a career-high 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting at San Jose State (Dec. 17). Her 20 points at San Jose State came in just 24 minutes.
• Her effort at San Jose State followed a then-career-high 17 points to go along with six boards, four assists and two steals in a win at Drake (Dec. 9). She added 13 points against Florida Atlantic (Dec. 19).
• Simon has scored in double figures 10 times in her career, including five times in eight games this season. She had five double-figure efforts in the first 50 games of her career.
• The Big Red opened the season 3-0 with Simon in the starting lineup. She averaged 6.7 points and a team-high 9.3 rebounds through three games. She had 11 points and eight rebounds in a win over UMKC (Nov. 14), before managing five points and a career-high 12 rebounds in a win over Arkansas (Nov. 16).
• Simon’s eight steals in eight games this season are just five shy of her career total (13) through 50 career games entering the season. Those eight steals have come in 204 minutes, while her first 13 steals came in 666 minutes.
• She suffered an ankle sprain in pregame warmups prior to Nebraska’s game with Creighton (Nov. 19) and did not play against the Bluejays. Simon missed four straight games with the injury.
• The 2015 Nebraska High School Player of the Year, Simon was a two-time first-team Super-State selection while leading Lincoln Pius X to the 2015 Class B state championship. She was the No. 149 player in the nation according to Blue Star and the No. 22 guard by ESPN in 2015. A tremendous all-around athlete, Simon won the Class A 100- and 300-meter hurdles championships at the 2015 Nebraska State Track & Field Championships.
• Her mother, Nicole Ali Simon, was a CoSIDA Academic All-American as a member of Coach Gary Pepin’s national champion Huskers in 1983 and 1984.
Freshman Cain Able from Block-to-Block
• The newest addition to Nebraska’s post game is freshman Kate Cain. The 6-5 center from Middletown, N.Y., decided to join the Huskers on June 23, 2017, after originally signing her National Letter of Intent with Delaware.
• After a coaching change at Delaware, Cain reopened her recruitment and the No. 82 player in the nation, according to ESPN, landed in Lincoln. She is trying to become just the second Husker women’s basketball letterwinner from the state of New York, joining Monet Williams (Brooklyn, 1997-98, 1998-99).
• Cain, whose parents were both outstanding Division I players on the East Coast, has brought an immediate defensive presence to the Huskers while also providing scoring and rebounding on the block.
• Cain has won three Big Ten Conference Freshman-of-the-Week awards (Nov. 13, Dec. 4, Dec. 11) and is a leading contender to add another during the holidays after her school-record-breaking triple-double in the win over Florida Atlantic (Dec. 19).
• She erupted for career highs of 22 points, 14 rebounds and a school-record shattering 11 blocked shots in the win over the Owls. Cain also set her career high with three assists in a spectacular performance at both ends of the court.
• Cain’s triple-double was the first points-rebounds-blocks triple-double in school history and just the third overall triple-double in the Nebraska record book joining Lindsey Moore’s 12 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists against Florida A&M (Jan. 2, 2011) and Natalie Romeo’s 12 points, 10 rebounds, 11 assists against Northwestern (Feb. 29, 2016).
• Cain’s triple-double was just the second points-rebounds-blocks triple-double in NCAA Division I so far this season, joining William & Mary’s Abby Rendle’s 25 points, 17 rebounds and 10 blocks against East Carolina (Nov. 21). Rendle leads the nation with 5.3 blocks per game.
• Cain enters the Washington State game as Nebraska’s third-leading scorer (11.8 ppg) and top rebounder (8.0 rpg) and shot-blocker (3.9 bpg). The last Husker to average 1.0 block per game in a season was Catheryn Redmon (2.5 bpg) in 2010-11.
• Through games Dec. 19, Cain ranked No. 3 nationally in blocks per game (3.9) and total blocks (47).
• Cain leads the Big Ten in blocks with 47, seven more than Purdue’s Ae’Rianna Harris (40) and two more than Alex Wittinger (13) from Illinois. Harris and Wittinger have played 13 games.
• Cain’s 47 blocked shots through 12 games rank as the No. 2 total by a freshman in Nebraska history and she needs seven blocks to match the freshman record held by school career record-holder Janet Smith with 54 blocks in 34 games in 1978-79.
• Cain, who set the Nebraska record with 11 blocks against Florida Atlantic (Dec. 19) smashed Olympic bronze medalist Danielle Page’s previous school record of nine set against Baylor on Feb. 3, 2007.
• Cain became just the sixth player in Big Ten Conference history to record 11 or more blocks and just the 10th Big Ten player to notch double-digit blocks in a single game.
• Cain, who previously tied the Nebraska freshman record with six blocks against Clemson (Nov. 30), has nine games with three or more blocks this season, including two games with six or more rejections in her first 12 contests. In the previous 1,310 games over 43 seasons of Husker history, Nebraska players had produced six or more blocks only 10 times, including three by Danielle Page and three by Catheryn Redmon.
• Cain has blocked at least one shot in all 12 games and has multiple blocks in 11 of 12 contests.
• Offensively, Cain is shooting a team-best 59.5 percent from the field and has shot 50 percent or better in 11 of 12 games this season.
• Cain owns four double-doubles, including 19 points and 14 rebounds in a double-overtime win at Drake (Dec. 9). She had four blocks and a steal against the Bulldogs.
• She had another double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds in a win over Arkansas Pine Bluff (Dec. 2). She added three blocked shots against the Lady Lions.
• Cain notched her first career double-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks in Nebraska’s win over Arkansas (Nov. 16). She also had two assists against the Razorbacks.
• She has recorded eight or more rebounds in six consecutive games, including 10 points, nine rebounds, two blocks, an assist and a steal in just 20 minutes in a win at San Jose State (Dec. 17).
• She owns eight double-figure scoring efforts, four double-figure rebounding games and one double-digit block game in the first 12 games of her career.
• Cain has produced four or more blocks six times, including Arkansas (4, Nov. 16), Coastal Carolina (4, Nov. 24), Clemson (6, Nov. 30), Kansas (5, Dec. 6), Drake (4, Dec. 9) and Florida Atlantic (11, Dec. 19).
• In her regular-season debut, Cain erupted for 18 points and game highs of nine rebounds and three blocked shots in 26 minutes off the bench in a win over SIUE (Nov. 11).
• She made her first career start in Nebraska’s win over UMKC (Nov. 14), producing eight points, two rebounds, two blocks and an assist. Cain has made 11 straight starts for the Huskers.
• Sophomore guard Hannah Whitish (29) owns the longest current streak of consecutive starts by a Husker. Nebraska’s second-longest streak is 11 games by freshman Kate Cain.
• Whitish is the only Husker to start all 12 games this season.
• Nebraska is 7-0 with Maddie Simon as a starter and 8-0 in games played by Simon.
• Nebraska owns a four-game road winning streak, including three straight wins in true road games.
• Kate Cain has blocked at least one shot in each of the first 12 games of her career. She has 11 games with two or more blocks, including eight straight games.
• Cain has pulled down at least eight rebounds in six consecutive games.
• Cain has hit 50 percent or better of her field goal attempts in eight consecutive games and 11 of 12 games overall this season.
• Hannah Whitish has posted at least one assist in 14 consecutive games, and has three or more assists in 11 games this season, including eight straight.
• Whitish has knocked down a three-pointer in nine consecutive games.
• Nicea Eliely has hit a three-pointer in seven straight games.
• Taylor Kissinger has knocked down at least one three-pointer in six consecutive games.
• Kissinger has at least three rebounds in each of her seven games this season.
• Emily Wood has recorded a steal in three straight games, the longest active streak by a Husker.
• The Huskers have knocked down at least one three-pointer in 292 straight regular-season games dating back to a loss at UTEP on Dec. 20, 2008.
• Nebraska has hit at least two three-pointers in 171 consecutive games.